The Northwestern University Select Teaching and Research Training program (NUSTART) aims to increase diversity in the professoriate by providing a combined research and teaching postdoctoral experience for nevi? PhDs from diverse backgrounds. The three-year program will integrate a solid three-year research postdoctoral program with mentored teacher training at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), a minority-serving institution. The teacher training includes formal training in teaching, mentored teaching and course design at NEIU, and formal training in the art of mentoring itself. IRACDA Scholars will work one-on-one with NEIU students, thus learning what motivates students from diverse backgrounds, which will make the IRACDA Scholars better teachers for a diverse population in the future. The research training will be augmented with many professional development seminars and workshops, thus ensuring that the IRACDA Scholars are among the best prepared to assume leadership roles in research and higher education in the future.
A second aim i s to enhance and improve the curricula at NEIU and increase the research activities ofthe NEIU faculty. NEIU has been named the most diverse university in the Midwest for the last nine years and ranks 75th in the nation in the number of bachelor's degrees awarded to Hispanics (Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, 2007). A more research-oriented educational experience at NEIU will increase the number of students who are motivated to go on for graduate education and consider careers in academia. Each IRACDA Scholar will work with NEIU faculty to improve the labs and courses at NEIU. They will also initiate research experience at NU through organized student visits and by hosting NEIU students for summer research experience. NEIU faculty will have the opportunity to work on research projects at NU. Finally, NUSTART aims to increase the number of NEIU students who go on to graduate school. The improved and more research-oriented curricula plus the one-on-one contact with the IRACDA Scholars and summer research experience should motivate more NEIU students to consider academic careers.
It is widely recognized that diversity in the US workforce, especially in research and devlopment roles, will produce better products for the diverse American population and a generally more global society ofthe future. It is therefore imperative that we prepare a diverse faculty who can both lead the research efforts and inspire students from all groups to aspire to higher education and careers.
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